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    Hour 8 - Ferrari in Contention

    17 marzo 2018

    The 66th running of the 12 Hours of Sebring has turned back into a dramatic, tense affair as the sun begins to set over the Sebring International Raceway and central Florida.  As the temperatures have begun to drop, the patience of drivers, particularly those in the Prototype category, has begun to run short.  While at the four hour mark, there had only been one caution, since then, an additional eight full-course cautions have broken up the action.  This has particularly handicapped the Ferraris which have had a tendency to struggle in the three to four laps immediately following the green flag.  Nevertheless, the Ferrari has proven to be a hugely dependable and competitive platform, briefly taking the lead in both GT-Le Mans and GT-Daytona.   GTLM. Risi Competizione has continued their rotation with Toni Vilander taking time, followed by Alessandro Pier Guidi and with James Calado in the car at the moment.  The GTLM field is immensely competitive with the top six cars routinely running within 3 seconds of each other.  The Ferrari however, particularly during extended green-flag periods, has proven itself as a front-running car.  Toni in particular had a masterful defense of second position from Porsche that lasted much of his stint, until caution flags bumped the Ferrari back to 5th position.  James Calado has worked the car back up to third with just four hours to go.   GTD. The strategy of Scuderia Corsa has begun to pay off for the No. 63 car of Cooper MacNeil, Gunnar Jeanette and Alessandro Balzan.  After intentionally largely holding Alessandro from the car in the first half of the race, he and Gunnar have blitzed the field over the past few hours, briefly holding the lead in class.  However, again the frequent caution periods have been to the detriment of the Ferrari, with the car running in 6th at the moment.  In the Spirit of Race No. 51, despite a desperate effort, the car has not been able to regain the lap lost at the very start of the race.  Lengthy stints by Paul Dalla Lana have marked the middle portion of the race, while the car sits in 13th position in class.